JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Right after the clock strikes midnight on Friday morning, all non-essential businesses in Florida will have to close by order the governor.
Gov. Ron DeSantis issued a stay-at-home order requiring everyone to shelter in place, apart from certain essential activities.
When it comes to essential businesses, we know the obvious ones like public health, public safety, grocery stores will be open. But did you know places like gun stores, gas stations, liquor stores and law offices will stay open as well?
Pawn shops will stay open too, as they’re considered financial institutions. Michael Slayton is the manager at Jax Jewelry and Pawn on Cassat Avenue.
“We are licensed by the state, federally insured to do loans, and also the gun shop aspect as well," Slayton said. "A lot of our customers don’t have credit or banks, so we’re trying to help them through times of need as well as the banks”
As Slayton mentioned, his shop is part gun store. Nationwide, gun stores have seen surges in sales during the pandemic.
“We’ve seen a substantial increase," he said.
News4Jax has gotten a lot of callers asking if moving companies are essential. Yes. Residents are allowed to move, and moving companies are allowed to operate.
Ronnie Williams, the owner of Bud Moving Company, said he knows these times are hard for many, and he wasn’t sure if he too would have to close up.
“As soon as I heard about the stay at home order, I didn’t know whether I was essential or not," Williams said.
He called the city’s help hotline, and said within minutes got an email back clarifying.
Foreclosure sales and evictions are on hold, but Williams said some people may still need to leave or relocate.
St. Johns Flower Market & other businesses will close
St. Johns Flower Market has sat nestled in Avondale for more than 25 years. On Thursday, it closed its doors for the rest of the month as flower shops are not considered essential businesses.
Markus Thiesen said the business has been in the family since 1993. On Thursday, he took over as the store’s owner.
“Our first order of business was shutting the business down, which is pretty nerve-racking," he said. "We’ve been thinking about this for quite some time and thankfully it hasn’t disrupted our plans too much with what we want to do going forward.”
The store’s shelves had been cleared of the tulips, roses and daisies that are normally there. He and his employees spent the final day selling as much as they could.
His shop sees a lot of vehicle and foot traffic and Thiesen is grateful for how many people stopped by Thursday.
“We had a really good day. We sold everything, we sold out of absolutely everything," he said.
Thiesen said some of the rest of his staff will try to find temporary work until the shop can reopen.
It’s a long month ahead, but like his flowers -- and with a little love and support, he knows his shop will bloom again.